UNESCO committee adds 12 elements to intangible heritage list


Twelve elements, ranging from rice planting rituals in Japan to Mexico''s mariachi music to a horseback-riding tradition in France, were today added to the United Nations-backed list of the world''s outstanding examples of intangible heritage.

A 24-member intergovernmental committee, meeting in Bali, Indonesia, inscribed seven elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its morning session and another five in the afternoon session, according to a press release issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The new additions include two from Japan: Mibu no Hana Taue, the ritual of transplanting rice which takes place in two communities in Hiroshima prefecture on the first Sunday in June each year and Sada Shin Noh, the series of sacred purification dances performed every September at Sada shrine in Matsue City.

There are two additions from Croatia: Becarac singing and playing from the country''s east, where singers are accompanied by a tambura band and Nijemo Kolo, a silent circle dance from the hinterland of the Dalmatian region.

Two famed musical traditions were also included: Mexico''s mariachi music, which frequently involves trumpets, violins, the vihuela and the guitarron (or bass guitar), and Fado, the urban popular song of Portugal, which is typically performed by a solo singer accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a guitar, or pear-shaped 12-stringed lute.

Another addition is Tsiattista poetic dueling from Cyprus, a lively and impromptu form of oral poetry performed in Greek Cypriot dialect in which participants attempt to outdo each other with clever verses of rhyming couplets.

The traditional knowledge of the jaguar shamans of Yurupari in south-eastern Colombia was also recognized, with UNESCO noting that male children of ethnic groups living in the area learn the traditional guidelines as part of their passage into adulthood.

"Equitation in the French tradition," a school of horseback riding that emphasizes harmonious relations between humans and horses, was also inscribed, as was the Ride of the Kings, an annual procession in four towns in south-eastern Czech Republic held to mark the Christian feast of Pentecost.

In addition, Peru''s pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit''i, a 24-hour event in which people from eight indigenous villages travel to a sanctuary 58 days after Easter each year, was included on the list, and so are the cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon -- a pentatonic xylophone -- of the Senufo communities of neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali.

The intergovernmental committee will continue to consider nominations to the list, which emerged from the creation of a UNESCO-backed convention, until Tuesday.

Source: UN News